SotD81 - Playing Catch Up part 3

neon colours - woman with spiky hair and neon framed spectacles

Inspired by our series of articles looking back at music released 30 years ago, Jimmy Hunter takes a step further back in time to give us some more Songs of the Day from 40 years back, SotD81...

The first time I heard the first of this week’s batch I wondered how someone could actually write or compose something like this – as opposed to creating it in the studio. Kate Bush was obviously on a break from writing the next album when Sat In Your Lap evolved into its eventual form.

I want to take a little time to talk about that what happened with the next two records. They both swapped with each other for the nr.1 spot on the US dance chart for the best part of two months in the summer of 1981 and whilst one wasn’t a surprise to me, the other most definitely was. Neither ABBA’s Lay All Your Love On Me or Lime’s Your Love were commercial hits but the US dancefloors loved them both. And once the remix DJs got their hands on Lay All Your Love On Me, it became something else entirely.

Lime is an outfit I remember fondly and I love their music. It’s pure post-disco disco and they went on to become very successful in the HI-NRG genre of the early/mid ‘80s.

There’s a link from the above to the next record too and this was totally coincidental, I promise [Mmmhmmm – Ed]. Denyse Lepage, one half of Lime, wrote and sang on the dancefloor hit, Dancing The Night Away. However, because the record label management didn’t want to confuse the public, they hired a couple of stooges women to do the promotion without Denyse’s knowledge and they kinda stuck.

If you want to find out more about stuff like this then see my Disco for Beginners series from a couple of years ago. [And keep your eyes peeled for the Disco – What Happened Next series coming soon – Ed]

A one-hit wonder next from studio outfit Hi Gloss. The producers used well known singers and musicians to create some solid soul/disco sounds and I do ask that you give You’ll Never Know a chance, it’s a good record. Kind of a shame they ran out of steam.

I get goosepimples whenever I think of this next choice and it’s my all-time favourite Simple Minds record. Right from the synth intro, through the hypnotic bass and anthemic chorus to the repetitive “love song, on and on” ending every nerve-end buzzes. [Here's the live version too - Ed]

We can’t ignore the first chart success for Soft Cell with a rehash of the Gloria Jones ‘60s classic Tainted Love [I’ll agree, this time – Ed]. Side note – I had a DJ only copy of her 1977 Bring On The Love and I have no idea what happened to it. This record paved the way for some well deserved Soft Cell success.

Building on the initial success of Messages from 1980, OMD releases a haunting sound with Souvenir and it’s a good record. No, I have no clue what the lyrics mean.

Quiet Life is a great record, of that there is no dispute. It’s not my favourite Japan record but you cannot escape the silky production which matches David Sylvian’s equally silky smooth voice.

We end this batch with pure electro-pop joy [that's not what I call it - Ed]. Just Can’t Get Enough is the second offering from Depeche Mode but don’t write this off as bubble gum pop – this is solid writing that led the group to huge success. You have to start somewhere.

À bientôt!

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